release year: 1999 (TV movie)
genre: western
viewing setting: home DVD, 10/19/12 and cable TV, 1/13/99)

synopsis: A gang of bloodthirsty bandits arrives at a little town in the middle of nowhere...but the town's residents aren't what they seem.

impressions: In order to properly discuss this movie, I have to give away a major plot point: the town is a place for dead bad guys (Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickok) to get one last chance before their final judgement. They're put in this place and must behave perfectly for ten years. If they do, they go upward; otherwise (including simply picking up a gun) they go downward. The outlaw gang that rides into town makes their imposed meekness really, really tough, especially given their pasts. The whole situation was weird and neat, and it moved along at a good, entertaining pace. The requisite gunfight at the end was well-staged and sufficiently action-packed.

acting: Sam Shepard is Wild Bill hickok, who's now the town sheriff. Randy Quaid is Doc Holliday. Donnie Wahlberg is Billy the Kid, now a deputy. Brad Rowe does a good job as the young member of the outlaw gang, who's not really bad like them. Eric Roberts is the leader of the bad guys.

final word: Neat concept, executed very well.

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